London 2012 Day 4: Sam and Tash will race finals on same day

The Team GB men’s double scull and women’s eight both progressed to Thursday’s finals by finishing third and fourth today in their respective semi-final and repechage.

That means Sam Townsend and Natasha Page will therefore both be in action in Olympic finals on the same day, just under two months before their wedding in late September.

This added a touch of romance to the day’s Team GB rowing results which also saw Alan Campbell win his quarter-final and the lightweight men’s four win their semi-final – both in some style.

To date, Team GB now has seven of its potential 13 boats into finals with further chances tomorrow for the men’s quadruple scull, men’s pair and men’s single who all race semi-finals.

Tomorrow’s race programme sees the first finals to be contested at Eton-Dorney with Helen Glover and Heather Stanning first on the starting line at 11.50, followed by the women’s quadruple scull of Beth Rodford, Melanie Wilson, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton

The finale of tomorrow’s programme will be the men’s eight final at 12.30.

 

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Race Report

It was grey at Eton-Dorney today with a breeze and some rain, so the six women’s eights at the start provided some colour on that canvas.

The GB women’s eight were World bronze medallists a year ago in Bled, Slovenia. Today they needed to finish fourth or better in their repechage to get a tilt at the 2012 medals in Thursday’s final.

The crew, stroked by Vicky Thornley and coxed by Caroline O’Connor, settled in the breeze at the start waiting. In the bow Olivia Whitlam turned to look down the course to visualise the task ahead.

The boat surged out of the start and the British, with Australia to one side and Germany to the other, held their own in the first 400m.

By 750m gone Holland and Romania on the finish tower side had etched out a small lead with Australia and GB chasing on the other side.

Gradually the British combination – which also included Lindsey Maguire, Natasha Page, Jess Eddie, Katie Greves, Annie Vernon and Louisa Reeve – opened up a gap on Germany and held onto fourth place to slip into Thursday’s final behind the winners Holland, with Romania in second and Australia third.

“We’re in the final and now it’s all to play for,” said Maguire. “It’s brilliant and exciting to be at the Olympics. The crowd are fantastic.”

Eddie added: “We got a good start but we didn’t put it together in the middle of the race.”

Looking ahead to the final, Vernon said: “You’ve got to go out to win it but there will be 45 other women thinking the same thing. We know that our best is very top quality we just haven’t laid it down here yet.”

Whitlam added: “It’s frustrating and annoying that we have not put down a good race yet. We’ve trained as a squad for a long time now and it would be good to do that but we haven’t so far.”

Page said: “I’m just a bit disappointed. We had a better start but just didn’t get onto our best rhythm in the middle of the race. We’re not producing here what we’ve been doing in training which is frustrating.”

Reeve concurred, saying: “We’ve been doing very well in training. If we row in the final like we do in training, It’s there for the taking.”

The women’s eight’s qualification means that Page – from the eight – will be racing in a final on Thursday on the same day as the man she will marry in September – Sam Townsend.

The duo have been part of the squad for many years and met through rowing.

Townsend featured in a men’s double semi today in which he said he and Bill Lucas “were in the mix all the way but it was close” before they qualified in third place.

Slovenia and Lithuania got out quickly. Canada were third at 500m but then dropped back.

“I think we got out quicker than Norway and France which made the difference in the end”, said Townsend of the fast finish which saw GB pip Norway by just four tenths of a second to clinch the third qualifying slot.

Norway, winners of the season’s final world cup, thus became one of several “big name” casualties in the two semi-finals today.

In the opposing semi-final the Olympic champions David Crawshay and Scott Brennan of Australia and the Germans who won the 2012 world cup series were both knocked out.

Alan Campbell is also safely to the men’s single scull semi-finals tomorrow. The Team GB sculler looks in great form here and won a quarter-final today that included seasoned racer Marcel Hacker of Germany – a man who beat Campbell at the final 2012 world cup.

“I’m really, really pleased with that after events in the last world cup – I feel that I’ve laid a few ghosts to rest today,” he said.

“It’s been disappointing in the past to come to major events and not be able to give of my best because of injury or illness. I’m really enjoying the racing but you have to keep a lid on things a bit and take it one step at a time.”

Britain’s lightweight men’s four looked silky smooth in their semi-final which rounded off the day’s action for Team GB’s rowers. They sat in the pack behind Switzerland before moving up through the gears to take the verdict comfortably on the line, much to the delight of a once-more packed crowd who roared them all the way down the course.

Race Results

RESULTS
London 2012 Olympic Games regatta
July 28 – August 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 31

Repechage

WOMEN

Eight (1-4 into final, 5 eliminated)

1. Netherlands 6:15.36
2. Romania 6:16.16
3. Australia 6:18.63
4. Olivia Whitlam/Louisa Reeve/Jessica Eddie/Lindsey Maguire/Natasha Page/Annabel Vernon/Katie Greves/Vicky Thornley/Caroline O’Connor (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:21.58
5. Germany 6:27.69

Quarter-finals

MEN

Single scull (1-3 to A/B semi-finals, 4-5 to C/D semi-finals)

1. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:52.10
2. Marcel Hacker (Germany) 6:54.18
3. Aleksandar Aleksandrov (Azerbaijan) 6:56.36
4. Patrick Loliger Salas (Mexico) 7:00.20
5. Kim Dongyong (Republic of Korea) 7:16.22
6. Anderson Nocetti (Brazil) 7:17.37

Semi-finals

MEN

Double Scull (1-3 to A final, 4-6 to B final)

1. Luka Spik/Iztok Cop (Slovenia) 6:19.97
2. Rolandas Mascinskas/Saulius Ritter (Lithuania) 6:21.62
3. Bill Lucas/Sam Townsend (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:22.47
4 Jakob Nils Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:22.88
5. Julien Bahain/Cedric Berrest (France) 6:29.61
6. Michael Braithwaite/Kevin Kowalyk (Canada) 6:38.94

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Four

1. Peter Chambers/Rob Williams/Richard Chambers/Chris Bartley (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:59.68
2. Switzerland 6:00.97
3. Netherlands 6:01.37
4. Germany 6:02.10
5. United States 6:05.06
6. Czech Republic 6:06.85

Crew List

CREW LISTS
Crews listed Bow to Stroke followed by
(Club, Home Town, Date of Birth)

OPEN WOMEN

Pair
Helen Glover (Minerva Bath, Penzance, 17/06/86)
Heather Stanning (Army RC, Lossiemouth, 26/01/85)
Coach: Robin Williams

Eight
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC, Warrington, 16/09/85)
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club, London, 17/05/84)
Jessica Eddie (Univ of London BC, Durham, 07/10/84)
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC, Edinburgh, 15/01/82)
Natasha Page (Gloucester RC, Hartpury, 30/04/85)
Annabel Vernon (Leander Club, Wadebridge, 01/09/82)
Katie Greves (Leander Club, Oxford, 02/09/82)
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club, Wrexham, 30/11/87)
Caroline O’Connor (cox) (Oxford Brookes Univ BC, Ealing, London, 25/04/83)
Coach: Nick Strange

Double Scull
Anna Watkins (Leander Club, Leek, Staffs, 13/02/83)
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC, Aberdeen, 12/11/75)
Coach: Paul Thompson

Quadruple Scull
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC, London, 25/06/84)
Debbie Flood (Leander Club, Guiseley, W. Yorks, 27/02/80)
Frances Houghton (Leander Club, Oxford, 19/09/80)
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC, Gloucester, 28/12/82)
Coach: Ade Roberts

Spares
Jo Cook (Leander Club, Sunbury-on-Thames, 22/03/84)
Emily Taylor (Leander Club, Lincoln, 28/06/87)

OPEN MEN

Pair
George Nash (Molesey BCGuildford, 02/10/89)
Will Satch (Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames, 09/06/89)
Coaches: Christian Felkel & John West

Four
Alex Gregory (Leander Club, Wormington, 11/03/84)
Pete Reed (Leander Club, Nailsworth, Glos, 27/07/81)
Tom James (Molesey BC, Wrexham, 11/03/84)
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC, Hebden, N. Yorks, 03/03/79)
Coach: Jürgen Grobler

Eight
Alex Partridge (Leander Club, Alton, Hants, 25/01/81)
James Foad (Molesey BC, Southampton, 20/03/87)
Tom Ransley (York City RC, Cambridge, 06/09/85)
Richard Egington (Leander Club, Knutsford, 26/02/79)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC, Surbiton, 27/03/88)
Greg Searle (Molesey BC, Marlow, 20/03/72)
Matt Langridge (Leander Club, Northwich, 20/05/83)
Constantine Louloudis (Leander Club, London, 15/09/91)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club, Bedford, 21/07/79)
Coaches: Christian Felkel & John West

Single Scull
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School, Coleraine, 09/05/83)
Coach: Bill Barry

Double Scull
Bill Lucas (London RC, Kingswear, 13/09/87)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC, Reading, 26/11/85)
Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Quadruple Scull
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club, Winscombe, Somerset, 11/11/81)
Charles Cousins (Reading Univ BC, Willingham, Cambs, 13/12/88)
Tom Solesbury (Leander Club, Petts Wood, Kent, 23/09/90)
Matthew Wells (Leander Club, Hexham, Northumberland, 19/04/79)
Coach: Mark Banks

Spares
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club, Torquay, 16/09/82)
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC, London, 26/06/87)

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN

Double Scull
Sophie Hosking (London RC, Wimbledon, 25/01/86)
Katherine Copeland (Tees RC. Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, 01/12/90)
Coach: Paul Reedy

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Four
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC, Coleraine, 14/03/90)
Rob Williams (London RC, Maidenhead, 21/01/85)
Richard Chambers (Leander Club, Coleraine, 10/06/85)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club, Chester, 02/02/84)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Double Scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC, Tewkesbury, 02/05/86)
Mark Hunter (Leander Club, Romford, Essex, 01/07/78)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Spare
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC, Windsor, 19/6/85)

TEAM SUPPORT
David Tanner: Team Leader
Maurice Hayes: Equipment Manager
Ann Redgrave: Doctor
John Tetley: Boatman
Mark Edgar: Physio / Head of Rowing Medical Service
Caroline Searle: Press Officer
Sally Brown: Physio
Maggie Netto: Asst. Team Leader *
Liz Arnold: Physio
Jo Bates: Administrator *
Karen Burn: Physio *
Mark Homer: Sports Scientist
Craig Williams: Sports Scientist
Chris Shambrook: Psychologist *
Alistair Patterson: Performance Analyst *

* Non-Accredited Team Support

Contact Info

For background information about the The GB Rowing Team contact the Press office via comms@gbrowingteam.org.uk or 07831 755351

For picture requests please contact: GBRTpressoffice@gbrowingteam.org.uk

GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk

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